Author Topic: Painting Custom Figures - Tips and Tricks?  (Read 3503 times)

Offline BrentS

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Painting Custom Figures - Tips and Tricks?
« on: January 3, 2006, 05:31 PM »
This is the first in a series of newbie-like questions that I'm going to post. I've already introduced myself and some of my customs in another thread.  I'm very impressed by activity on this custom community.  So, I'd like to pick your brains in order to improve my skills.

So my question, how do you keep the paint from chipping around articulation joints (especially sholders, elbows, and knees)?  I've thought about trying to cut away the offending scraping pieces (sounds dangerous) and I've also tried (somewhat unsucessfully) using a Dull Coat varnish (Gamesworkshop Brand).  However, the varnish doesn't seem to protect those joints too well (especially if they are already very prone to scraping).

Any help is much appreciated!

As a post script.  For Newbie Question #2, would you prefer I add to this thread or start a new topic?
« Last Edit: February 3, 2006, 04:11 PM by BrentS »

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Newbie Question #1 - Paint Chipping around joints
« Reply #1 on: January 3, 2006, 05:49 PM »
This is pretty good, and I think it would be nice to see this as a sticky topic actually.  Maybe you could continue with a weekly question added to this thread?

For joints, I run into the same problem quite often.  I've heard different techniques used, from trimming the area down so there isn't any friction to using certaint types of paints.

For myself, I decide on two things -

(1) How bad do I need this articulation?  If not too bad, then I use superglue and glue over the joint.  After it dries, I paint over it.  This should still allow for basic articulation, but not the "ball joint" type.  Make sense?

(2) Or I will paint in very thin coats and spray on acrylic matte sealer after each paint coating. 

There are different techniques available, but option #1 tends to work best for me.

 :P

Offline jedistyle

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Re: Newbie Question #1 - Paint Chipping around joints
« Reply #2 on: January 3, 2006, 06:01 PM »
i have used the "cutting away scraping area" technique in the past. usually with an exacto knife, trying to keep the section you cut away in the same basic shape as it started. the only thing is that you end up with a lrger space and somtimes that looks wierd, especialy on arms. the other problem you may run into with this is by removing sections from the joint you may losen the joint, so now your limbs are floppy!

the thin paint technique has worked best for me. i always try to chose parts colored as close as possible to the color i plan on painting it, if possible! or chosing a joint that may be the color of some weathering you may do. it narrows down the amount of parts you have to select from, but allows you to get the disiered articulation. it is up to you which you want more though, articulation or unchipped paint.

another thing i have yet to try but have been wanting to do on say a shoulder joint or somthing, is try to make a super thin layer of sculpy to fit over the moving part of the joint and paint that. but that may restrict movement to, like i said i still haven't tried it, just somthing i was thinking of!

hope your painting goes well and can't wait to see more of your custom's!
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Offline Joe

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Re: Newbie Question #1 - Paint Chipping around joints
« Reply #3 on: January 3, 2006, 06:29 PM »
Hemble uses this alot.With a tootpick carefully put super glue on the joint .CAREFULL don't mess up or your figure's arm (or leg) is not soaked with glue.After it dries use a little force to "unstick" the joint and it should move...if not don't use as much next time.
Cheers!

 - Joe

Offline BrentS

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Re: Newbie Question Thread - Wokring with Foamcore
« Reply #4 on: January 9, 2006, 05:35 PM »
Thought I'd post this newbie question to go along with the Monthly Project.  What tips do you have for working with Foamcore for Dioramas.  From what I've gathered, sharp hobby knifes are the key.  However, any other tips?

What about gluing options (glue gun, any others??). 

What about painting on foamcore, any special tricks (is primer necessary?)

As you can see, I hope to make this week's thread, the one shop stop for all your foamcore questions.

Offline Ryan

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Re: Newbie Question Thread - Weekly Questions
« Reply #5 on: January 9, 2006, 06:02 PM »
Hot glue is definitely the prefered glue for foamcore. You can get a decent gun for around $10, and the glue sticks are cheap two, you can get a decent sized pack for about $2. Rather than Hooby knives, I actuallty found that a really sharp utility knife (the orange handled ones) will work even better. The blades are replaceable and you can just break off a section if it starts to dull, and you have a sharp tip. They are easy to get a good grip on and apply ample pressure to get a really clean cut that will go all the way through each time. It is usauslly a good idea to have several grades on sandpaper handy too, so you can make sure your edges are smooth. And like anything measure twice, cut once. It always helps to get everything cut right the first time, but I always save my scraps (even the little ones) in case I have to fill any gaps.

Primer will never hurt, on anything. It may be a little more expensive but I've found you will get better results when it is used. Sanding it lightly before and after you prime it with a fine grained sandpaper should help the paint apply better too.

Hope this helps.
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Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Newbie Question Thread - Weekly Questions
« Reply #6 on: January 9, 2006, 06:14 PM »
I think Ryan pretty much covered all the bases on that.  I haven't used sandpaper on one before or primer, but I think that is an excellent suggestion.

  :P

Offline BrentS

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Re: Newbie Question Thread - Weekly Questions
« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2006, 03:53 PM »
Do most people spray paint onto the foam core or paint by hand with the acrylics we use on our figures?

Offline CHEWIE

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Re: Newbie Question Thread - Weekly Questions
« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2006, 03:55 PM »
I can't speak for others Brent, but I personally hand paint them.  I buy those foam brushes for most of the painting of these.  Cheap and effective.



 :P

Offline BrentS

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Re: Newbie Question Thread - Weekly Questions
« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2006, 05:17 PM »
Chewie, thanks for the advice.  What paints do you use on your foamcore dioramas?  Those little jars of Gamesworkshop paints don't go very far on big sheets :)

Offline Joe

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Re: Newbie Question Thread - Weekly Questions
« Reply #10 on: January 10, 2006, 05:32 PM »
I use apple barrel or something like that.Go to michaels and you can buy about 5 of these for less than 5 dollars.
Cheers!

 - Joe

Offline Ryan

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Re: Newbie Question Thread - Weekly Questions
« Reply #11 on: January 10, 2006, 05:40 PM »
I use apple barrel or something like that.Go to michaels and you can buy about 5 of these for less than 5 dollars.

Yup. Wal-Mart has them too. they are in a different section than the other paints of course so it may take awhile to find them, but they are there. The section has about 3 different brands. They all come in about 2 oz bottles they've got lots of colors and are usually between 70cents and $1.75, depending on the particular brand.
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Offline BrentS

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Re: Newbie Question Thread - Weekly Questions
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2006, 05:41 PM »
Good idea.  I've got a bunch of those Michael's bottles left over from another project I was working on.  They don't work well on figures but foamcore... yes maybe.  Thanks!

Offline Clone Hunter

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Painting Custom Figures - Tips and Tricks?
« Reply #13 on: January 30, 2006, 10:04 PM »
Years ago, I made a fanfic character of a force using Stormtroper, basically Vaders apprentice. Well, i painted a POTF2 Luke Stormtroopers armor silver and almost 6 1/2 years later, it is still tacky.

Last nite, I tried my hand at a 212th ATTE trooper, and the orange paint is tacky.

Is there a secret that I am missing? Is the plastic, no condusive to paint? As it is now, I can wipe the paint right off.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2006, 03:43 PM by Jeff »
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Offline Ryan

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Re: painting figures
« Reply #14 on: January 30, 2006, 11:03 PM »
It sounds like you are using enamels. They will never dry. Try using some acrylic paints, and hitting them with a matte sealer afterwords.
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